I’ve played a few games as Trilarians and now Silicoids. They are played very differently, which is refreshing. One problem that hit me over the head was Silicoids and starvation when I got a few magnets on board. I tried to prepare, but it wasn’t sufficient – their populations simply exploded, and this problem was magnified when then their free lance colonies started popping up all over the place. The Trilarians simply couldn’t get enough minerals to supply their industry and it hobbled my economy for 50+ turns until the tech improvements came on line, and that was despite putting mines everywhere – it wasn’t enough.
I also understand that excess resources are sold for AU. This is great since the Silicoids are absolutely terrific at generating minerals with their good mining and rich systems. By comparison, the Trilarians produce copious amounts of food but are mineral starved for a long time. Each is able to turn this into income. I like this.
But, the question comes back to shortages. If I have extra income (AUs) and shortages, why can’t I buy these minerals/food (or whatever) from other races who have a surplus? After all, where do the 1000s of minerals I overproduce as Silicoids go? Are they internally consumed? Sold to other races? Used as landfill?
The reason I ask is that this would be a terrific nuance for the MOO3 economic model – cultures become dependent on each other and then value their relative strengths. So, my Silicoid would try to get good relations with good bio folks and would ‘understand’ that declaring war on them would severely harm their economy. This would also mean those crippling shortages would be mitigated, at a steep price, mind you.
My suggestion: modify the economic model to allow for purchasing of excess resources to other races. I know my Silicoids would have willingly paid dearly while their meager farming capability was being created over 10+ turns – anything to keep my Darloks from starving. Likewise, my Trilarians would have paid through the snouts to get their fins on minerals so they could utilize their industry.
I have NO idea if this is workable, but I would love to see this in the game. It would also create some nifty diplomatic add-ons, or big-picture Emperor decisions (eg – trade with the Evil Nommo and pay through the nose, or suffer economic penalties). It would also make Economic Sanctions have teeth, too.